Miss South Africa Shudufadzo Musida yesterday vowed to make it her priority to de-stigmatise mental health, especially during Covid-19.
The newly crowned Miss SA arrived at the OR Tambo International Airport yesterday where she was welcomed by Sport, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa.
Musida, who was crowned in Cape Town a week ago, said mental health was an important topic especially because of Covid-19.
“People have lost a lot. People have lost loved ones, people have lost jobs and we were locked up for about five months – and that is not something that we must take lightly and I think that is a conversation that we need to engage with, now more than ever, because it is necessary,” she said.
“For me personally, I’ve realised the importance of this conversation first hand.”
Musida vowed to bring more awareness to mental health, especially in rural and disadvantaged areas because she believes people need to work on their minds for any change to come about in the country.
“I plan to mobilise various stakeholders and the nation so we can bring about educational empowerment through the tackling of issues such as period poverty among young girls, workshops that teach children about the importance of mental health from a young age, and mentorship programmes for young women so they can be empowered to be agents of their own future.”
As well as mental health, Musida promised to continue the fight against food insecurity in rural communities because children can only be their best at school when their basic needs are met.
“I believe that all of this will continue the efforts of bringing about economic empowerment in this country, as more children will be given a fair chance of becoming active members of the economy through educational empowerment,” she said.
Musida is also proud of breaking barriers, being the first woman from Limpopo to win the title.
“It took an entire village to get me here and I would like to thank all of you for being my village. I stand here today as your Miss SA with immense pride and joy to be representing such a beautiful nation – one of the first Venda women, but certainly not the last, to become Miss SA,” she said.
MISS SA Shudufhadzo Musida with Sport, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa and Limpopo MEC Thandi Moraka at OR Tambo International Airport, yesterday.